A bus operator said it is ready to offer daily coach services on the Hong Kong-Macau route amid talk that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will open as early as August, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
One Bus Hong Kong Macau Ltd. has been awarded 19 of the 34 daily round trips for the cross-border coach service allowed by the Hong Kong government.
The company said on Thursday its buses will run between APM shopping mall in Kwun Tong and The Venetian Macao hotel in Macau. The frequency is every hour during the day and every 90 minutes at nighttime. Each bus has 53 seats, according to media reports.
All of the buses will be equipped with free Wi-Fi and USB charging facilities. Each bus cost HK$1.6 million.
As for the bus fares, One Bus director Chung Wai-tong said the rates will depend on how much the toll charge will be.
If the toll is HK$200, the company will set the fare at HK$170 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and HK$190 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. If the toll is HK$450, it could charge HK$200 and HK$220 respectively, Chung said.
By comparison, the Hong Kong-Macau ferry services charge each passenger HK$171 during the day and HK$211 at night.
According to One Bus, each trip takes about one hour and 45 minutes, including customs clearance, compared with about one hour by ferry, excluding customs clearance.
Chung said tickets can be bought 60 days in advance and passengers can pay cash, use Octopus or pay online with e-payment tools such as Alipay, Apple Pay, WeChat Pay and Macau Pass.
The company expects a load factor of 80 to 85 percent during the initial period, with a daily capacity of 2,014 passengers. This could rise to 10,000 passengers if the government increases the quota.
One Bus has also asked approval from the transport department to establish a station at Hung Hom, Chung said.
The company has nine investors, including Eternal East Bus and Diamond In Love Group Limited.
The Fire Services Department on Thursday opened a new fire station on the artificial island that belongs to the Hong Kong section of the bridge. About 100firemen and paramedics have been deployed to the island, according to a source.
Meanwhile, officials have agreed to allow emergency services from Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai to cross into each other’s sections of the bridge, i.e., if help is needed to handle any incident, RTHK reported.
While the three places will look after their own sections when rescue work is needed on the bridge, emergency personnel from a different jurisdiction can still take the lead or help out if it makes operational sense.
– Contact us at [email protected]